At the same time that I was writing this blog post  earlier today, one of the quack healers mentioned in that post held a press conference, it would seem, for the purpose of supplying evidence in support of the point of that post. Here’s a slice from the Wall Street Journal‘s analysis  of a choice part of that press conference:
Mr. Obama’s market analysis is more remarkable and worth quoting at length: “So there’s no—I won’t say ‘no’—there is very little impact, nominal impact, on U.S. gas prices—what the average American consumer cares about—by having this pipeline come through. And sometimes the way this gets sold is, let’s get this oil and it’s going to come here. And the implication is, is that’s going to lower gas prices here in the United States. It’s not. There’s a global oil market. It’s very good for Canadian oil companies and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry, but it’s not going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers. It’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to U.S. consumers.”
Let’s break that down. The oil market is global, but somehow adding to the global supply of oil via the pipeline is not going to affect the global price for oil, so it won’t affect American gasoline prices. That doesn’t seem to pass the basic supply-demand test.
But it also overlooks that refiners on the Gulf Coast can handle Canada’s heavy crude, which means more lighter crude from the Bakken and Eagle Ford Shales would be available to export onto the global oil market. If global supplies increase, all other things being equal, the global oil price would fall for everyone—including American consumers.
No one with even a rudimentary knowledge of petroleum markets and of basic economics would deny the veracity of the Journal‘s analysis. But the current president of the executive branch of the United States government (an official commonly, if misleadingly, called “the president”) – an official who is treated by the populace and (if this official is of a Democratic stamp) also by the mainstream media and the professoriate as a uniquely wise and knowledgeable social sherpa – here reveals himself to be an utter economic ignoramus. And yet such ignoramuses on matters economic are routinely touted by “Progressives” as people who should be trusted with enormous discretionary powers over the economy.
No one in their right mind would trust Barack Obama (or Elizabeth Warren or Chuck Schumer or John McCain or Lindsey Graham or… the list of officious ignoramuses is long) to perform cardiovascular surgery on their children or even to replace the garbage disposals in their kitchens, yet we trust these very same buffoons with extensive powers to intervene into the economy. It’s insanity.